Council by-elections: Labour hold on to Harlow and Ealing seats with vote share up

Labour held on to three seats with increased vote share in the latest round of council by-elections, while the Tories held onto another.

In the local contests on Thursday, Labour kept seats in Harlow – Nettleswell and Bush Fair wards – and a seat in Ealing, Dormers Wells ward. In all three, it increased vote share by 2.5, 5.6 and 2.9 percentage points respectively.

The Harlow by-elections were sparked by the resignations of councillors Waida Forman and Ian Beckett (who stepped down after being deselected ahead of 2019); Shannon Jezzard and Jodi Dunne will now take up their places. As a parliamentary constituency, Harlow is a bellwether seat, but its council is firmly red (20 Labour, 13 Tories).

In Ealing, London, the Dormers Wells by-election was triggered by the death of Tej Ram Bagha. Ealing is a safe Labour council (57 Labour, 8 Tories, 4 Lib Dems), and this ward is particularly safe. Mohinder Kaur Midha, who was elected yesterday, is making a swift return to the council, where she represented another ward – Lady Margaret –  until May.

Nettleswell (Harlow) – Labour HOLD

Labour: 50.2% (+2.5)

Conservative: 25.6% (+2.0)

Harlow Alliance Party: 10.0% (+10.0)

Ukip: 9.9% (-13.1)

Lib Dem: 4.3% (-1.3)

Holsworthy (Torridge) – Conservative HOLD

Conservative: 56.4% (+11.5)

Independent: 25.4% (+25.4)

Lib Dem: 12.2% (-5.3)

Labour: 6.1% (+6.1)

(No Ukip (-23.7) and Grn (-14.0) as previously.)

Bush Fair (Harlow) – Labour HOLD

Labour: 45.0% (+5.6)

Conservative: 38.1% (+6.0)

Ukip: 8.5% (-15.4)

Harlow Alliance Party: 5.2% (+5.2)

Lib Dem: 3.2% (-1.4)

Dormers Wells (Ealing) – Labour HOLD

Labour: 72.1% (+2.9)

Conservative: 16.6% (+0.7)

Lib Dem: 7.3% (+2.7)

Green: 4.1% (-3.2)

(No Duma Polska (-3.1) as previously.)

These local government by-elections were held six months before 2nd May 2019, which is the cut-off date for new vacancy contests in all councils where terms are due to end next year.

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